Question: How can I eat Healthy with my families traditional dishes?
Sacrificing your country's best dishes shouldn't be a requirement just to be able to eat healthy through the holidays!
Simple Tips to eat on tradition:
+Replacing Ingredients with natural or healthier alternatives
+Cutting down by having smaller portions
Image: Winston Wanders
Answer: "Be Mindful"
Easy Swap: Choosing Plant based ingredient instead of a high saturated fat content ingredients
THIS: INSTEAD OF THAT:
A LITTLE BACKGROUND......
The Philippines: A country in which i have always aspired to travel to one day. Filled with Wildlife, beautiful beaches, and delicacies found only there, its sounds like such a wonderful place to visit. Because I have never experienced actually visiting, I do my best to appreciate and enjoy the traditional dishes that come from the country. My relatives would serve up the best version of the dishes during the holidays. I did notice one thing however, THEY ARE FILLED with unhealthy things.
Actually, some of the leading causes of death in the Philippines are:
1. Cardiovascular Disease
2.Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
Recommendations by the AHA (American Heart Association):
"Toss the table sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses. Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there".
Whole Fat Coconut Milk
Whole Fat coconut Milk-Cashew Milk
Glutinous Rice-Brown Rice replacement
Salt-Himalayan Pink Salt
Brown Sugar-Turbinado or RAW sugar
Image: Wikipedia_Suman Malagkit
This is one of the many examples that can be used to create a healthier version of the dish you are trying to recreate. AT the holiday dinner tables, foods with high fat and sugar content are usually served that contribute to the myth of gaining weight during the winter months. Many traditional items call for LARD, or unhealthy processed items in traditional cooking. With Eating on tradition, lists of alternatives will help create healthier meals.
The Philippines was very much part of sugar’s history, being in the region where sugarcane originated, and where sugar haciendas figured greatly in its colonial economy (Lasco, 2017)
Having correct portions will also help contribute to eating a well balanced meals during the holidays. Suman malagkit (Pictured Above) is served in its own banana leaf, which too is considered an art itself by the technical wrapping, is served individually. By having smaller portions, guests will find themselves gravitating towards only one serving, as unwrapping each one can be a pain.
American Heart Association (2019). Tips for cutting down on sugar. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/tips-for-cutting-down-on-sugar
Department of Health, Republic of Philippines retrieved from https://www.doh.gov.ph/node/1058
Alternative Medicine, Dec 2018, Issue 43, pp.6-7
Lasco, G. (2017, December 21). Why Filipinos have a sweet tooth. Inquirer. Retrieved from https://opinion.inquirer.net/109639/filipinos-sweet-tooth
The Digestible; a site for easy to understand food, nutrition, health, and energy balance information.